July 14, 2000
Santa Monica, CA Entrepreneur, producer and music industry leader Emilio Estefan Jr. will be honored as the 2000 Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Person of the Year, it was announced today by Michael Greene, President/CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and Mauricio Abaroa, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Latin Academy. The honor marks the first to be bestowed by the Latin Academy and recognizes Estefan's professional and philanthropic accomplishments.
"Emilio has demonstrated endless, tireless dedication to expanding Latin musical roots, rhythms and traditions around the world," said Greene. "His conviction and devotion is unmatched and can be seen in the incredible wisdom and support he has given the Latin Academy from the start. We wish to thank Emilio and applaud his never-ending efforts to bring Latin music to the mainstream."
Estefan will receive the honor at a star-studded tribute dinner and concert on September 11 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Latin Academy tribute dinner is one of the most prestigious events during GRAMMY Week, which precedes the 1st Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on September 13. The Latin GRAMMYs will be carried by the CBS Television Network and on radio via the Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation worldwide.
Proceeds from the LARAS Person of the Year tribute dinner will provide essential support for the Latin Academy's educational and cultural programs.
Five-time GRAMMY winner Emilio Estefan Jr. came to the U.S. from Cuba as a teenager. He could not yet speak English, but he communicated through his passion for music. Estefan wanted to take the music of his homeland and present it in a decidedly different way.
Throughout his career, Estefan has fiercely preserved his cultural heritage by infusing the sensibilities and attitudes from his native Cuba into the assortment of projects he creates.
With over 400 million people worldwide claiming Spanish as their first language, Estefan has created a powerful foundation crossing over Latin music and Latin attitudes to non-Hispanic populations both domestically and internationally. Emilio has demonstrated an uncanny ability to walk the tightrope between mainstream accessibility and cultural authenticity a talent most evident in his work.
Estefan started Foreign Imported Productions & Publishing and Crescent Moon Records, a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. as President of Artist Development Worldwide for Sony, Emilio oversees all activities of Crescent Moon, and serves a liaison for all Sony labels.
In recent years, Estefan has become the hottest producer in the Spanish-language and croosover arena. He served as executive producer of Ricky Martin's self-titled English debut album, and as producer for tracks on Jennifer Lopez's On the 6 and tracks for Marc Anthony's debut English album. His influence extends to successful albums from Shakira, mambo creator Israel "Cachao" López, Alejandro Fernández, Carlos Ponce, Thalía, Charlie Zaa, Ana Gabriel, and Soledad, among many of the industry's top artists. Jon Secada's new album The Better Part of Me produced by Estefan, is slated to be released in the U.S. on July 19 after receiving great acclaim throughout Europe and Asia. Plus, Estefan continues to guide the success of his superstar wife Gloria Estefan whose career transcends both English and Spanish-language markets. Gloria's latest album Alma Caribeña produced by Este-fan, is topping airplay and sales charts in both the U.S and around the world.
Emilio Estefan is also heavily involved in various philanthropic causes. He and Gloria founded the Gloria Estefan Foundation, Inc. which empowers young people by offering financial support to promote good health, education and cultural development. Most notably, the Este-fans are one of the most generous financial supporters of the Miami Project to Cure paralysis, part of the University of Miami School of Medicine. The Miami Project is the world's most comprehensive research center dedicated to treating people with spinal cord injuries and finding a cure for paralysis. He has also donated his time and effort to organizations such as the American Red Cross, AMFAR and the March of Dimes.
The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. is a membership-based business league composed of musicians, producers and other creative and technical recording professionals who are dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for Latin music and its makers. In addition to producing the Latin GRAMMY Awards to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences, the Latin Academy will provide educational and human services programs in Latin countries.
The Latin Academy has built its template of members services and advocacy around the similar programs instituted by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. (the Recording Academy). The Recording Academy is a non-profit organization of more than 16,000 musicians, producers and other recording professionals. Best known for the GRAMMY Awards, the Recording Academy is also responsible for numerous groundbreaking outreach programs involving education, human services and cultural enrichment.
For information on purchasing tickets, tables or recognition in the souvenir program for the LARAS Person of the Year tribute to Emilio Estefan, please contact Dana Tomarken at the Recording Academy, 310.-392.3777.